Microsoft’s 3D Touch Phones Cancelled amid Layoffs
Earlier this month, we heard some details about a couple new handsets in the works from Nokia and Microsoft that featured “3D touch” capability – essentially, you could interact with them in different ways by hovering your finger over the display rather than simply touching it. But in the wake of Microsoft’s massive layoff announcement and impending reorganization, it seems these projects are now dead in the water.
According to a post on Windows Phone Central, sources close to Microsoft say that the company has scrapped McLaren, the codename for the 3D touch handset project. As a result, Windows Phone will be without a flagship smartphone this fall, while the specter of the iPhone 6 looms large. That said, Windows Phone already faced an uphill battle against the iPhone 6, so one has to wonder whether a phone with 3D touch capabilities was really going to make that much of a difference.
At this point, it seems as though Microsoft may decide to sit out the rest of this year when it comes to becoming more competitive in the mobile space. As we noted yesterday, Nokia is taking the bulk of the layoff hit over the next six months. As such, chances are good that the division will be ill-equipped to provide an amazing alternative to the new and exciting Android devices set to come out later this year, not to mention Apple’s aforementioned iPhone 6. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that the company will be refocusing on mobile and the cloud – but that doesn’t mean that those two divisions will come into focus with a snap of his fingers. It’s going to take a while, and that might mean Microsoft will bide its time until next year.
Microsoft is reorganizing and reprioritizing, and that process will take a while. Layoffs are a big part of that, and as the company’s employees get accustomed to a new status quo and a new way of doing business, Windows Phone will have to bear the brunt of that transition. However, when the dust clears and the teams are ready, the stage will be set for Microsoft to finally start gaining ground in the mobile sector.